Pentagon Plans to Destroy Dozens of Soviet Cities and the So-called Cold War

In-depth Report:

Though remaining unmentioned in official texts, the origins of the dubiously titled Cold War can be traced to policies pursued by American leaders during World War II itself. Following Nazi Germany’s calamitous defeat at Stalingrad in early 1943, Washington’s ongoing construction of the atomic bomb was implemented with the Soviets in mind.

Three months before even the D-Day landings US General Leslie Groves, a virulent anti-communist, confirmed in March 1944 that the atomic bomb was being produced in order to “subdue the Soviets”, then an irreplaceable ally of the West.

Aged 46, Groves assumed charge of the US nuclear program in September 1942, and he proved a ruthless, crafty figure who possessed huge power in his new position. Groves in fact held control over every facet of America’s nuclear project, from the technical and scientific aspects, to areas of production and security, along with implementing plans as to where the bombs would be deployed.

Nagasaki bombing, 1945

Less than six weeks after the atomic attacks over Japan, on 15 September 1945 the Pentagon finalized a list: Through which it expounded strategies to annihilate 66 Soviet cities with 204 atomic bombs, to be executed through synchronized aerial assaults. This ratio averages at slightly more than three bombs discharged upon each city.

However, six atomic weapons apiece were categorized to obliterate 10 of the Soviets’ biggest urban centres, that is 60 bombs combined would be dropped over the following: Moscow (Russian capital), Leningrad, Novosibirsk, Kiev (Ukrainian capital), Kharkov, Koenigsberg, Riga (Latvian capital), Odessa, Ulan-Ude and Tashkent (Uzbekistan capital). This alone would have gone a long way towards destroying the Soviet Union.

Yet it was the mere beginning. Five atomic weapons each (35 altogether) were identified to liquidate another seven large cities in the USSR: Stalingrad, Sverdlovsk, Vilnius (Lithuanian capital), Lvov, Kazan, Voronezh and Nizhni Tagil.

Continuing, four bombs apiece (28 in total) were earmarked to desolate seven more significant urban areas: Gorki, Alma Ata, Tallinn (Estonian capital), Rostov-on-Don, Yaroslavl, Ivanovo, and Chimkent.

In addition, three atomic bombs each (36 combined) were marked down to eliminate 12 other notable cities, ranging from Tbilisi (Georgian capital) and Stalinsk to Vladivostok, Archangel and Dnepropetrovsk.

Of these 36 Soviet cities outlined to be blown up – requiring between three to six atomic bombs per city – 25 of them belong to Russia, while the remaining 11 cities stretch across the Ukraine, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The process of annihilation was to be directed not simply against eastern Europe and Russia, but extending to Central Asia too.

All of the USSR’s remaining 30 cities were highlighted as needing either one or two atomic weapons each, split down the middle: 15 cities necessitating two bombs apiece and the other 15 designated for one bomb each. Among these are yet more countries and well known places such as Minsk (Belarusian capital), Brest Litovsk, Baku (Azerbaijan capital) and Murmansk. The devastation was once more to spread past eastern Europe, and beyond Russia itself as far as Turkmenistan, where oil and gas rich Neftedag was to be hit with one atomic weapon.

A few of the above cities that the Pentagon was aiming to destroy are located in nations that have since joined NATO, a US-led military organization – like those in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, whose capital cities were listed as requiring 15 atomic bombs combined. The city of Belostok, in now NATO state Poland, was to be struck with two atomic weapons. These programs, if followed through, would have resulted in many tens of millions of deaths, far exceeding the loss of life during the Second World War.

Moreover, in 1945 some of the aforementioned Soviet urban regions were already lying in ruins following years of Nazi occupation, such as Kharkov, Vilnius, Tallinn and Rostov-on-Don. US atomic attacks over these places would largely have been hitting wrecked buildings. The Soviet Union lost more than 25 million people to Hitler’s armies, and was still reeling internally at war’s end.

Three weeks before Groves was completing his atomic plans, a late August 1945 Gallup poll found that nearly 70% of Americans believed the atomic bomb’s creation was “a good thing”, with just 17% feeling it to be “a bad thing”. It can be surmised these opinions would have altered somewhat, had the public been aware of what was occurring in the corridors of power.

One can but look on aghast at the sheer devious and audacious nature pertaining to the proposed demolition of 66 cities, across land areas spanning thousands of miles. In an age before the Internet and convenient handheld technology, these in depth stratagems would have required months of toil. The schemes may well have begun formulation around the time of Groves’ March 1944 confession to nuclear physicist Joseph Rotblat.

Groves was a driving force behind the plan to eviscerate all Soviet industrial and military capacity, with key assistance coming from Major General Lauris Norstad. Yet high ranking soldiers cannot undertake operations at this level without approval emanating from elite political circles.

As a consequence of America’s nuclear programs dating to World War II, it is grossly and historically inaccurate to suggest that the self-styled Cold War began in 1947 – as likewise are the claims that the Russians were to blame for resumption of hostile attitudes and policies. The masses have been sorely misled on these issues for more than seven decades.

Despite its importance, virtually the entire Western mainstream press (and most alternative media) have continued ignoring the Pentagon’s 1945 plan to incinerate dozens of Soviet cities. In isolation amid commercial media the British Daily Star newspaper, on 8 January 2018, issued a report regarding US proposals “to completely wipe Russia off the map” with “a stockpile of 466 bombs”.

Nonetheless the 466 total was then not a realistic one, and such high bomb estimates were dismissed by Groves himself as “excessive”, in his top secret memorandum to Norstad on 26 September 1945. Groves also outlined in the same letter that, “It is not essential to get total destruction of a city in order to destroy its effectiveness. Hiroshima no longer exists as a city, even though the area of total destruction is considerably less than total”.

Relating to their nuclear designs, Groves and Norstad had a most serious problem before their eyes, and one that would infuriate them both; along with, as we shall see, president Harry Truman. In late 1945, the US military held just two atomic bombs, and thoughts of decimating the USSR at this point were that of a pipe dream.

Accumulation of the necessary weapons was painstakingly slow, even for the world’s wealthiest nation. By 30 June 1946, the stockpile of US atomic bombs had increased to nine. Come November 1947 the arsenal had risen to 13 bombs, still remarkably small.

Seven months previously on 3 April 1947, president Truman, who was privy to proposals in wiping out the USSR, was himself informed of just how diminutive the US nuclear stash was. Truman “was shocked” to learn they had just a dozen atomic weapons, as he presumed the Pentagon had amassed a far greater number. Such was the secrecy of America’s nuclear program, few enjoyed intimate knowledge of the facts.

That same year, 1947, Winston Churchill implored Styles Bridges, a Republican senator visiting London, that an atomic bomb be dropped on the Kremlin “wiping it out”, thereby rendering Russia “without direction” and “a very easy problem to handle”. Churchill was hoping that Bridges would persuade Truman to effectuate this action. During the recent past, Churchill had received a royal welcome at the Kremlin and enjoyed a feast with Stalin there in August 1942, before he returned to Moscow for further meetings in late 1944. Three years later Churchill wished for the Kremlin to be turned into dust.

Meanwhile by 30 June 1948, the US nuclear cache climbed to 50 atomic bombs, and from therein the figures rocketed – come summer 1949, the US military finally held ownership of over 200 atomic bombs, heralding the era of “nuclear plenty”. Groves was since removed from his post, and even more dangerous individuals like General Curtis LeMay became prominent in American nuclear war planning.

In October 1949, LeMay expanded the plans so as to include 104 Soviet urban zones to be destroyed with 220 bombs “in a single massive attack”, and another 72 held back for “a re-attack reserve”. The 292 bombs allocated were available by June 1950.

However, the preceding year in August 1949, the global balance had irrevocably shifted, as Soviet Russia successfully detonated an atomic weapon over a testing ground in north-eastern Kazakhstan. Soviet acquisition of the bomb before 1950 came as a nasty shock to Washington. It would prove a vital deterrent to American nuclear designs, with the Russians having little choice but to follow suit and earmark urban areas in the West, relating to their own nuclear war schemes.

America’s invention of the hydrogen bomb in late 1952, quickly followed by the Soviets, dramatically altered the scope and killing estimates of nuclear war. The humble atomic bomb it seems was no longer of sufficient yield, and underwent an “upgrading” as humanity took a leap towards self-destruction.

The new hydrogen weapon, or H-bomb, was hundreds of times more powerful than its atomic cousin, and by the late 1950s H-bombs were being produced en masse by the Pentagon. Come December 1960 – with the American arsenal now at a staggering 18,000 nuclear weapons – it was calculated that practically every citizen in the Soviet Union would be killed, either from the hydrogen bombs’ blast radius or through resulting fallout. As was known, much of the radioactive poisoning would likely be blown on the wind across Europe, further affecting Warsaw Pact states and NATO allies.

Since 1950, the People’s Republic of China was added to the US nuclear hit list, a country which then consisted of over half a billion people; more than twice that of the USSR’s populace; while the Chinese themselves did not obtain nuclear weapons until the mid-1960s. Communist China and her cities were categorized to be levelled in tandem with Soviet metropolises, bringing an overall predicted death toll to hundreds of millions.

Due to a combination of deterrence, mutually assured destruction (MAD), and hefty portions of luck, no such terrible programs were executed, during what has been described for over 70 years as the “Cold War”. Rather than a cold conflict, the post-1945 years were organized for humanity to witness the hottest war in human history.

Because of Soviet intelligence reports, Stalin knew as early as four years prior to Hiroshima that America was developing “a uranium bomb”. By confirming to the Russians they held a new weapon of unparalleled destructive might Washington would furthermore, as envisaged, hold greater influence in boardroom negotiations with the Soviets.


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Shane Quinn obtained an honors journalism degree. He is interested in writing primarily on foreign affairs, having been inspired by authors like Noam Chomsky. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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Articles by: Shane Quinn

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